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Montessori Materials Explained: The Grammar Symbols

A guiding principle in Montessori education is to move from concrete to abstract. The ability to explore and manipulate with the hands is an important component of learning, particularly for young children. Maria Montessori brilliantly designed concrete materials for many concepts that are traditionally presented in abstract ways to older ages. Creating concrete materials for these concepts allows children to explore and understand these topics at much sooner and creates a strong foundation for future understanding and exploration as the child grows.

One example of this is the Montessori grammar symbols. These symbols are first presented in primary and children continue to work with them throughout their time in elementary. The purpose of these symbols is to create a concrete, visual representation of each of the parts of speech. Through a series of lessons, the child begins to associate the symbol with the function of the word. This creates a visual cue for the child and allows them to notice various patterns in the way our language is structured.

Below is a picture of the grammar symbols presented in primary. From left to right: Article (small light blue triangle), Adjective (medium blue triangle), Noun (large black triangle), Conjunction (pink rectangular prism), Preposition (green crescent), Verb (red circle), Adverb (orange circle).

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